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tv   Presidential Debate  CNBC  October 3, 2012 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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what? [ male announcer ] the endlessly customizable 2013 smart. >> for the first time since 2012, the democratic and republican. >> the center piece of the president's entire re-election campaign is attacking success. >> no more he said/he said.
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tonight, it's face to face. and a lot of it will focus on your money and your taxes. >> unlike president obama, i will not raise tax on the middle class of america. >> i want to reform the tax code so it's simple, fair. >> the candidates' opinions couldn't be more different and the stakes couldn't be higher. >> their philosophy is if you don't are health insurance, don't get sick. >> now is the moment we can do something. and with your help, we will do something. >> cnbc's coverage of the first presidential debate of the 2012 presidential election begins now. >> tonight some of the most influential figures in the nation on the economy join us here on cnbc. >> we've got representative and hopeful ron paul with us. texas, from texas. he is of course outspoken about the federal reserve policies. robert reich is here with us
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tonight. also with us grover norquist. the man behind the no new taxes pledge so many republicans made. and bob lutz a former top auto executive. the auto bailout expected to be a big topic tonight. and we've got president of the aflcio. unions of course a major constituency. and roger altman. as you can see the lineup card is full. going to be great. >> absolutely. meantime our chief washington correspondent john harwood has made the trip to denver. what are you watching first tonight? >> what i'm watching for is how mitt romney takes advantage of this huge opportunity that he's got with tens of millions of americans watching these two side by side. he's behind in the polls, but not by an overwhelming margin. three points in our nbc/wall street journal poll. i talked to devine who was the
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campaign strategist for al gore. when gore lost the election, in the debates he said here's what's mitt romney's got to do. he's got to figure a line of attack that at the same time makes president obama looks bad, makes him look good, and press that through the entire 90 minutes. it's an economy debate. that is supposed to be mitt romney's wheel house. we'll see if he can pull that off in the right tone against a popular president. it's hard. there's always risk when you attack the president. mitt romney doesn't have much choice but to try to do it. we'll see where the help of jim lehrer, the moderator, exactly how he uses this moment. >> talk to you in a moment. whenever there's a big night involving politics, you can bet larry kudlow is involved. he's here on set with us. you were disappointed with mitt romney on the convention at large. is this a time to reform that. >> particularly on the economy and jobs. at the whole republican convention and mitt romney's
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speech set that campaign back several weeks in my opinion. they got no bump and no bounce. in fact, they probably got a negative bounce. so tonight it is incumbent on him to do two things. one is make the big picture. he's the free enterpriser and president obama is the big government planner. and those are big differences in philosophy in government. two, romney has a tax cut plan. he has a spending cut plan. he has an energy plan. he's got to make it clear. he's got to explain to people the connection between his plans and the economic recovery that we have not yet had. that's a tall order for romney. and he's going to have to fight hard for it while the, of course is attacking him. >> you said earlier i was watching kudlow and company, you said the first impression is important. he's got to swing right away. you think he'll do that? >> that's my hunch. i've seen this before. aggressive. he's got to put this sort of line in the sand. here's what i believe. and here's what he believes. and there's a big choice in this
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election. he is the guy who wants redistribution. i'm the guy who wants growth. he's the guy who wants government centered economy. i'm the guy for free enterprise. he's got to say that. but it's doubly hard because he's got to put meat on the bones of his tax and spend policy. to this day, people are not quite sure what mitt romney's policies are. the president doesn't have policies. romney does, but we don't understand them. >> a debate is never a good time to explain anything. it's supposed to be the summation of the argument you've made all year long. >> the really funny thing about this is that the president -- we have no clue what he's going to do in a second term. he says give me four more years. nobody knows for what. romney on the other hand has a 59 page booklet which he's distilled to five points. but i'm not sure those have sunk in. it's obama saying i don't believe you and romney saying i
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don't know anything about you. that's why this will be an interesting debate. >> you're right. the president's side wants specifics. so we may very well get questions on how romney is going to change the tax code. what loopholes he wants to eliminate. >> suggested yesterday in a regional tv show in denver, colorado, a local interview. romney drops this bomb that we've all been waiting for. we know he has tax cuts, but we didn't know what deductions he'd eliminate. he tells this local interviewer, not to demean the interviewer in colorado, but the deduction will only be $17,000. if you're in an upper class bracket, it's going to be less than that. i've been blogging and interviewing him for weeks and weeks to tell me and he drops that bomb before this local guy. >> he's getting so pressure to come out with specifics here. >> he's got to give specifics on loopholes and spending. but president obama has to give
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specifics too. we don't know where he's going in a second term. because he's never said. >> exactly. and he's not getting the pressure the way romney is. larry, we'll talk to you during the show. you're going to be here watching this debate and analyzing it. joining us now is ron paul. representative paul is a staunch critic of the fed. certainly fed jim bernanke and a big hawk about our deficit. good to have you on the program. >> thank you, maria. good to be with you. >> what are you expecting? do you think governor romney comes out swinging right off the bat? what do you think he is going to be pressured and asked about in terms of specifics on his economic plan? >> overall i don't expect a whole lot of specifics from either one. in the last several weeks the whole of the discussion has been on debate techniques and who's going to make the biggest gaffe. hopefully they'll get to the bottom of it. but i don't know if they'll get around to what i consider the biggest financial issues, the debt crisis that we have.
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and what are they going to do about it. and how do they relate to the federal reserve. say we can't have much to do with it. let the fed monetize the debt and go on and on? i have not heard from either one of them actually cutting something. so i'm afraid the important issue of the financial crisis that we're in the middle of is going to get worse. my prediction is they won't really deal with it tonight. if they do talk about it, i think the answers will be muffled and they'll sort of talk about it the same way about what to do about the deficit. because it is a tough problem to deal with. i don't think they want to face up to it. >> you know first hand what it's like to be on the stage with mitt romney. there seems to be a pit of rapport between you and he in debates. what's the president need to know about the podium next to his? >> well, i'm not sure i can give advice to that. i always assumed that governor
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romney did a pretty good job. he occasionally got a little rough, but i think what the president ought to do is try to answer the questions directly. and if he doesn't, that's when romney needs to get after him. answer the question. what are you going to do about the debt crisis? but the problem is as i see it, the difference philosophically between the two isn't that tremendous when it comes to foreign policy. don't expect tremendous differences on the middle east. about what we should be doing there. or for the federal reserve or spending. so i think it'll be interesting to see if we get any factual good information on what these two gentlemen believe in. >> big difference on taxes. let's bring john harwood in. john? >> congressman paul, as carl mentioned, you had a rapport with mitt romney. when we talked a few weeks ago, you said you weren't going to fully endorse mitt romney at the
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republican convention because you didn't fully support him. what i'm wondering is, is there anything you can say tonight that would cause you to do that? are you ultimately looking at these two guys as not that much different on the core issues that are important to you? >> well, i'm always looking. i'm always open but i'm not that optimistic. because his foreign policy was the policy that disturbed me the most. he was much more aggressive on where the troops should be and what we should do overseas. that didn't interfere with us having a decent rapport with each other and talking to each other with friends. but the foreign policy, if he changed it i would be wow that's wonderful. maybe i should reconsider. if he came out and said not only do we need to audit the fed, we need to stop from monetizing our debt and being the central economic planner for the whole country. if he started saying those things, i'd say maybe he had an epiphany. but that's not going to happen. >> congressman, do you think a
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lot of ron paul republicans are not supporting mitt romney in this last month of the campaign? >> well, i don't think you can measure them. as you know, there's two or three million at least at minimal. and there are many independents we couldn't even measure. so i would say that they're just holding back. and i think they'll go different ways. i think a few will go and vote for romney. a few's going to vote for obama. and a few will stay at home and a few will vote libertarian. and a few will write my name in. they're very frustrated because they didn't feel i had a fair shake at the convention and some of our delegates weren't seated. that left a bit of a sore spot with many of our delegates. >> so how important -- how critical is tonight's showing in terms of getting that vote and getting that independent? >> well, i think it's pretty much so that i think most of the people who are in the freedom
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movement would be as surprised as i've indicated if we saw a dramatic change in the policy. we have been seeing this for a long time. we've come to a conclusion. although we could find some differences maybe on taxes. we've come to the conclusion that the two parties aren't all that different. the debate won't be very much involved in true difference of philosophy. and that if you wanted a real debate, they probably should have had the green party and the libertarian party. now, that would have been real excitement. make these two answer to other people who are thinking about a different way of looking at this thing. instead we have two individuals who are really status quo and aren't challenging the status quo. and have not a whole lot of anything new to offer. >> well, that sets up tonight just great, congressman. thanks so much. congressman, ron paul joining us from texas. >> thanks so much. expect fireworks from the
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candidates at home at 9:00. but to be honest, you don't have to wait until then. >> up next, the man who served as secretary for bill clinton. robert reich. and grover norquist, president of americans for tax reform. we're coming right back.
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welcome back. something that very possibly could come up tonight is governor romney floating the idea of capping tax deductions at $17,000. would that effectively be a tax increase? and would it work to bring down the deficit? with us now robert reich who served as labor secretary under bill clinton and grover nor qui quist. >> he's made that commitment as
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has paul ryan and certainly the vast majority of republicans in the house. which is a commitment not to raise overall taxes. romney's committed to cutting all tax rates at least 20%. ryan and the house republicans want to go to a top rate of 25% corporate and individual. romney's made it clear. any changes are in the context of keeping overall taxes from going up and making sure the middle class doesn't get hit request higher taxes. it's not a tax increase, he's made that clear. >> mr. secretary, a lot of discussion about whether or not the wealthy or the middle class families in america benefit more from any limit of deductions. >> well, a limit of deductions actually would hurt the wealthy to the extent that we're talking about a deduction that the wealthy take in very, very large amounts. a limit on those deductions makes some sense in terms of a progressive tax system. >> what do you think the plan
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for the president will be tonight? terms of tax reform, mr. reich? >> the president has said that he wants the so-called buffett rule that is a minimum tax particularly in regard to higher incomes. he's talked about ending the bush tax cuts. and he also -- i mean, basically the president has said -- and i think with enormous logic on his side -- we have a huge budget deficit. that has got to be addressed through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. most economists and most policy analysts and independent experts and the vast majority of americans understand there's got to be some combination of tax increases and spending cuts. >> the issue is if you are increasing taxes on the wealthy or $200,000 or more for an individual, you're also impacting small business. because they are paying the ordinary income, right?
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>> you're impacting small businesses only with regard to the amount of their income that exceeds in this case $250,000. so a small business that earns $280,000, the tax is increased on only that $30,000. that's the net above $250,000 and we're talking about only going back to the clinton marginal income taxes. and nobody as far as i know believes that the clinton economy was a bad economy. i mean, i was very proud to have been part of the clinton administration. it was one of the best economies we had. the tax rates did not harm small business. in fact, we had such a good economy because we had fiscal responsibility and at the same time we invested in infrastructure and in education. >> it was a different time. it was also the dot-com boom. >> that came at the end, that's right. but most people who look at those years and exclude those years that just preceding the dot-com boom understand that was a very good economy. do you believe or does
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anybody -- i mean, i would be very interested in grover norquist if he thought the clinton years represented a bad economy and if they were bad tax rates. >> as much fun it would be to relive the clinton years tonight, mr. secretary, i'd love to get grover -- i want you to expand more on this deduction limit. are you saying it might violate the letter of the no tax pledge but it does not violate the spirit? >> no, no. the president -- romney's made it very clear that any tax reform that he approves will not be a tax increase. this idea of having this as an offset for lower rates at least 20% across the board lower. again, paul ryan and the republicans in congress want to take rates even lower. romney's not signing any net tax increase. he's not going to sign a tax increase on the middle class. he's made that clear. he's put that in writing to the american people. he's running against president obama who when he first ran promised no tax would ever be
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raised on anyone who earned more than $250,000 a year. we've now seen seven taxes in obama care that hit the middle class directly as well as the many that hit it indirectly. and romney's also changed -- i'm sorry. obama has changed his tune on the promise for the future. the new plan, he said, starting august 8th in colorado and repeated is he won't raise your taxes next year. so after 2013 there is no promise from obama for any american on any tax protection. he's open to raising taxes on anyone and everyone. and he's going to have to because even with his tax increases on the higher income people, he runs a $6.7 trillion debt over the next decade. and that buffett rule tax raises less than 1% of the debt he's running up. he's got to go straight at the heart of the middle class to pay for his bigger government. >> i think it's very interesting.
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i still have not heard from mr. norquist whether any tax increases should be necessary to deal with the budget deficit and the budget deficit we face as a country. are we going to try to do this all through spending cuts? and if so, how in the world do we do it without eviscerating medicare, medicaid, social security, and military spending? >> well, very clearly as you know, the republicans actually have a plan written down as opposed to obama and the democrats who have no plan to balance the budget written down. the republicans passed through the house paul ryan's budget. paul ryan does for all the welfare programs what clinton did, speaking of clinton. the one thing he did in the presidency rather than bringing us the republican house and senate, the other good thing he did was welfare reform. block granting welfare to the states. that's what the ryan plan does to save money. and that's how we balance the budget without raising taxes. >> but paul ryan has disavowed
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the ryan plan. mitt romney is not bound he says by the ryan plan. mitt romney has offered a plan that is actually has so little in that you can't even run the numbers. i mean, if you have a plan that is basically filled with empty magic asterisks you can't analyze whether this will deal with a budget deficit in the future. the independent tax policy center said in fact -- >> it's a left wing group, for crying out loud. it's a left wing group. >> -- tonight on taxes. good to see you both. thanks for your time. as the president and governor romney make their final preps, corporate america gets their chance to weigh in. >> when we come back, the former president and coo of verizon on what big business wants to hear tonight. >> but before the break, money man jim cramer's take. >> nobody asked me. i'm not running. i'm not part of a debate. but i stand for higher stock prices for all. if you like me, i will put through my plan to switch to
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welcome back. >> nice to be with you. >> in terms of what you want to hear tonight, do you want to hear romney say something. or what you think will help his chances in the swing states. >> well, carl, if we believe what we hear and what we've read in the last few days, this is the night for romney to hit a home run. he has a hit a home run. others said he needs to show himself as likable. i don't believe any of that. i think the choices in this election are so clear cut. what i'm looking for here is substance over form. we elected the likable guy in 2008. now we need to see that someone has a track record of performance in whatever it may be if you look at governor romney of course it's his state, it's the olympics, and of course it was his business experience. if we look at president obama, we've got to really look seriously at what's occurred
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over the last four years. in business as you both very clearly know, we rate people every year. we give them an appraisal. it's time to give president obama an appraisal. >> what do you want to hear from romney tonight to actually make that case to make sure accountability is there? >> i think governor romney actually needs to show us the strategy that i know that he has. i don't -- i'm not looking for nuts and bolts, maria. but this is the vision of a chief executive. someone who's going to lead this country. i want to see leadership. i think he'll show us leadership. and i want to see his vision for the future. >> some have suggests the president should ask the governor how long it takes to turn around a distressed situation like the country was four years ago. i mean, would he be changing management at the top at this point? >> in the business world as you know if people don't hit their targets, they move out. and my own opinion here is -- >> we're not hitting our
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targets. >> we're not hitting our targets in any respect. if you -- you know -- >> but you know what he will say. he will say i was handed a bad hand four years ago. i inherited this. when does it become time to say okay, you inherited this three and a half years ago, what have cow done to fix it? >> it's back to your point on accountability. a chief executive officer assumes responsibility. they take charge. regardless of what's happened in the past, a real chief executive officer knows that it's on their watch that they either fix it or didn't fix it and they need to be accountable for that. the other thing i want to see and hopefully will start seeing some of this tonight is integrity. i'd like to see a chief executive officer who will be honest with the american people. it's time. >> what if the president points to some metrics that are going his way. home prices, consumer confidence, auto industry. >> well, there are some metrics going his way. the big thing that people are interested in, though, is what
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about this 25% of people between the ages of 25 and 55 that are unemployed? what about the value that people have lost in their two biggest assets. their 401(k) and the value of their home. this is what people need to think about. >> will governor romney be able to deliver that message tonight? >> oh, i think he will. i mean, you know, we heard over the weekend that somebody from the president's campaign said that he's planned more for this debate tonight than the normandy invasion. he's -- every time i've seen the man, he's calm, cool collected. i think we'll see that again tonight and see leadership. >> always good to see you. thank you very much. live pictures as well from denver as the romney procession makes its way in. debate number one less than a half hour away. >> very exciting. when we come back, we'll take you live to denver as the crowd
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is taking their seats. we'll also talk live with the man who makes sure they're telling the truth and nothing but the truth. scott cohn coming up. and bob lutz is with us. what about that auto bailout? is it a huge point for the president or can romney turn it in his favor? more cnbc coverage live from denver next. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags, a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety.
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the debate is about to start. but the fireworks began months ago. >> we can keep moving forward. we're not going to back. >> the president wants to grow government. i think government should be smaller. >> all they have to offer are the same prescriptions they've had for the last 30 years.
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>> what the president is doing is bowing to the demands of big labor to his big contributors. it's wrong. >> feel a cold coming on? take two tax cuts and roll back regulations and call us in the morning. >> the countdown to the first presidential debate of 2012 is on. now, once again, here is maria bartiromo and carl quintanilla. >> welcome back. thanks for being with us as we get ready for presidential debate number one live from denver, california. >> i'm maria bartiromo with carl quintanilla. while you watch, we want to tell you which candidate you think has won the first round. just vote on the poll will be up around 9:30 tonight eastern time right here on the home page. as you're watching go to and let us know. >> also the twicker is live. another way to watch and engage with the debate live tonight. want to get back to denver and
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our chief correspondent john harwood who's assembling the classic moments from debates past. john? >> you can hear some of the sound behind me. the program is beginning inside the debate hall in advance of that debate in about 30 minutes from now. and what's going to be important in that 90 minute debate once it gets underway is the opportunity for candidates to create memorable moments to change impressions about them. and when you think about those moments, sometimes they're very memorable, but they're not that consequence shl. of what readers thought was the most memorable debate moment ever. it was this moment in 1988 between the democrat lloyd benson and the republican vice presidential nominee dan quayle. take a listen. >> i have as much experience in the congress adds jack kennedy did when he sought the presidency. >> senator, i served with jack kennedy.
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i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> killer line. had no impact on the election. george h.w. bush one that election. when you have a strong performance by a strong candidate and a weak fumble by the other, its can make a difference. here's an example in 2000 when al gore decided he thought it was a good idea to get in the face of george w. bush while he was answering a question. watch this. >> the difference is that i can get it done. that i can get something positive done on behalf of the people. that's what the question in this campaign is about. it's not only what's your philosophy and position on issues. but can you get things done? i believe i can. >> there you had governor george w. bush making al gore look foolish.
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now, the second ranking all time memorable debate moment in that poll i mentioned was this one, which maria you'll remember it. we were in the debate of republican candidates just a few months ago, one year ago in fact. >> you can't name the third one? >> the third agency of government i would do away with it, the education, the commerce -- and let's see. i can't -- the third one, i can't. sorry. oops. >> and the reason that was so damaging to rick perry is that it confirmed the impression that had been growing about him that he couldn't play at a major league level. the worst thing that happened to either of these candidates tonight in this debate tonight is to confirm some negative stereotype going into the debate whether it's president obama being arrogant or condescending or mitt romney caring only about a certain group of americans.
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>> classic moments. no doubt we're going to see moments like that tonight and throughout this campaign leading up to the election. larry kudlow back with us. we want to get your take on this. can something like that change the course of the election? >> oh, yeah. for one of these too. the other thing was a vice presidential debate. most people vote for president, not vice president. so something like that happened -- i don't really reckon that romney's going to stroll over to president obama. at least i hope not. one thing i will say, by the way, is if you go back to all those republican debates, we did the after-debate for one of them. romney's pretty good. he did very well in most of them. and two in particular. he took newt gingrich out in florida. at a moment when gingrich was really a big contender. romney took him out. >> even though the president, one of the best thing he does is speak publicly.
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>> you go back and look at those hillary/obama debates. hillary gave him a run for his money. i don't think he was overwhelming. that's why a lot of insiders probably myself included expect romney to do well tonight assuming he doesn't do anything really weird. >> larry, we'll talk to you in a bit. as the debate is live in about 20 minutes. let's bring in auto industry legend bob lutz now. former president of chrysler. currently bob sits on the boards of via motors. i want your reaction on this. >> because of all the actions he took, because of the calls he made, because of the determination of american workers and the unparallel of our special forces, we can now proudly say what you've heard me say the last six months. osama bin laden is dead and
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general motors is alive. >> pretty powerful as the former auto executive, is the auto bailout something that weighs heavily in the president's favor tonight? >> well, i think it's the one big accomplishment that he can point to. now, a republican president would have done the same thing. george bush, in fact, george w. bush started the bailout with the initial loans. then we had to transition to obama and he continued it. and i think the only unfortunate thing that mitt romney has to live down is that november 8th new york times op-ed piece where he essentially advocated the bankruptcy of the american automobile companies. and it sort of -- he has the reputation of having been willing to sacrifice the automobile business. i don't think that's true. if he had been president, he would have done the same thing that obama did. but this is one he's going to have to explain, i think.
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>> he asked the romney campaign about that, they said gm didn't actually go through bankruptcy not the one we're talking about. bill clinton today in ohio tried to explain why the race is not as tight as it should be. he says it's largely about the auto industry. does romney walk that op-ed back today? >> you know, i don't know. i just think that mitt romney needs to come out -- needs to do what -- needs to state what he really believes in. which is the importance of american industry. the importance of the american economy. the importance of the private enterprise system as opposed to one that's directed by the government. and when it comes to the -- getting back to the chapter 11 thing, people who say it shouldn't have been the government. it should have been a private chapter 11. they conveniently forget the banks didn't have money either. the government was the debtor in
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possession of last resort. those are the facts. what about what the unions will say? i mean, you know that the unions are there. they are going to be supporting the president given the fact that gm is alive and well today. the auto industry is showing better numbers. what do you think the backup and support looks like from that side of the aisle? >> well, you know, unions, trade unions traditional -- whether it's metal workers union or electricians union, they vote heavily democratic anyway. i think the problem in a state like michigan, for instance, or ohio or illinois where you've got a lot of automotive industry jobs is that perhaps white collar people who would normally vote republican would feel that they had been abandoned by the republican candidate. that's where i see the danger. >> also the opportunity, i guess, for romney to bring up
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something like an investment in tesla or solyndra. can he use that as a liability against the president? >> i think he can. as i say frequently in my blogs for forbes, i think the tragedy of a lot of this green economy is that we are squandering valuable capital into things that have no immediate economic value and may not even have long-term economic value. so that we're taking scarce capital and we're investing it in stuff that doesn't have an economic payback. now, a country can't do that for very long. so yes, i would bring up -- if i were running as republican candidate, if i were in romney's shoes i very definitely would bring up the fact that a lot of money has been squandered on things that had no hope of paying off and it includes windmills and solar and all of this stuff that's just not ready
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for primetime. >> bob, thanks so much. we'll talk with you soon. >> thanks. >> how can you tell which candidate isn't telling the whole truth? we'll have the ink team working tonight. >> we'll keep them honest. the debate starts at the top of the hour. stay with cnbc. you.
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in politics sometimes candidates have been known to stretch the truth a little here or there. that's why we have our investigation ink team working late tonight. >> scott cohn tracking what the candidates are going to say and making sure what they're saying is actually true. you're on the case. >> and we have our work cut out for us. we have a team of fact checkers just off duty -- off camera on duty tonight. they're in the debate about your money. there is no better place to separate fact from fiction than here. four main areas that we'll be focusing on, first taxes. each candidate claims the other will raise taxes on the middle claz. but they won't. we'll look into that. we'll look at their claims on the deficit and debt. we'll look at jobs which both candidates say they'll create. and entitlements. medicare, health care, welfare, social security. and then just the facts. that is a tough job. we will take all the help we can
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get. tweet us with a #cnbc 2012 or e-mail us, join us on twitter during the debate and hereafter wards. >> all i know, scott, is you are the man for that job. want to bring your attention to denver. moderator jim lehrer addressing the crowd at the university of denver. it's going to be broken up into six 15-minute segments. the first three on the economy, others on health care, the role of government, and governing. the debate just nine minutes away. >> nine minutes away. domestic issues front and center tonight. >> meantime, putting america back to work going to be a big team. unions have been big supporters of the president. richard, good to see you. >> good to see you. thanks for having me on tonight. >> we know how critical the labor debate has been this year. whether it's the teachers or public workers in wisconsin. how's it going to be addressed tonight? >> here's what we need to see?
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it's not really what we want to hear. it's what millions of workers need. they need to see somebody sthast going to have a real kmicommitm and a real plan. they want to see a candidate who understands what they're going through, how tough it is for them to make ends meet, how tough it is to send people to college or to make ends meet along the way. and i think they want to see a president who's going to create an economy that really does have a shared prosperity for everybody. that's what i think workers are going to be looking for and demanding tonight. >> and of course governor romney is going to talk about the idea that government should be smaller and get out of the way. and an environment that is favorable for business is actually an environment where business will create jobs. how that's going to go over? >> it won't go over well, he hasn't had a real plan so far. these are about real people's
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lives. he's got a tougher job i think than the president tonight. because most people because of his comments whether he realizes it or not, he's lived a privileged life. and he doesn't understand common workers, what we go through every day. so he's got a tough job to make people let them know that he does understand what they go through. if he can do that, he'll have a good night. if he can't, i don't think the zingers are going to matter. because big problems require big solutions not bumper sticker answers. >> of course we know the relationship between white house and labor has not always been rosy over the last four years. is there something the president also needs to say to impress you? >> again, it's not what he says to me but what really american workers need. and that's a serious, serious commitment and a real plan to create jobs and right the economy. to make an economy that works for everybody so we can get on with it. we're willing to work with it on that. i think he's done that in the
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past and has a great plan to get america back on the move. >> john? >> i'd like to ask mr. trumka what he thinks about china. he says he's going to be tougher on that country than president obama has. is that something that the aflcio would like to see happen? >> who's asking the question? >> john harwood. >> oh. >> he's on the ground in denver, richard. >> oh, hi, john. how's denver? >> good. how you doing? >> this president, president obama's done a much better job in enforcing the trade laws than we've ever seen before. he's pushed china. he just won three cases. he won a case on pipe to put thousands of people back to work. he won a case of tires that put people back to work. and he just filed one on auto parts. look, mitt romney's talk is cheap. he'll go back to this -- he's working on currency. we're all working on currency. mitt romney will go back to the
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same paradigm that we had before. signing agreements that are good for wall street but not good for main street. >> even though this tax increase that we're about to see is going to increase taxes for anybody making more than $250,000. >> which tax increases you talking about? >> the fiscal cliff issue as we see the tax cuts expire at year end. >> well, the president said he wants to continue those tax breaks for people earning less than $250,000. it's the republicans that say no, we won't give anybody anything unless the millionaires and billionaires get their tax cut too. they don't need -- they need to pay their fair share. and we -- >> thanks, richard. >> thank you for your time. sorry we ran out of time. we're minutes from the start of the debate. >> we'll take you back live to denver as president obama and governor mitt romney take the stage. stay with us. ♪
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welcome back to our coverage of tonight's debate. i'm carl quintanilla along with maria bartiromo. >> the taxes the budget and the fiscal cliff. jim lehrer will take over from denver very shortly. we've got a lot ahead. you know the tax debate is going
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to be really probably among the more interesting and sort of stark differences in terms of these two candidates. >> and if there's any -- in the area of taxes. want to get final thoughts before we turn it over to denver to john harwood who is on the scene. any thoughts? >> what i'm going to look for is for all the talk about the economy he hasn't persuaded americans. watches to see if he can do that with credibility and passion. >> challengers in general tend to do well on their first debate against an incumbent. they're on a world stage challenging the leader of the free world. it raises their stature in the eyes of some. how much can romney benefit from that tonight? >> he will benefit from that. but the size of the hole that he's got both in swing states and nationally is how to do more than that lift you get from being with the president.
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he's got to hurt obama and help himself. >> president obama has to make the case how he's going to help americans in the next four years. we haven't heard the specifics of his plan in terms of economic growth and getting jobs created. >> bill clinton may have given the most effective speep so far, but that's contingent on giving the president four more years. saying you can't fix this in four years. we'll see if the president can build on that tonight. >> now let's turn it over to jim lehrer for presidential debate number one. beginning in seconds. on the university of denver in denver, california. i'm jim lehrer of the pbs news hour. i welcome you to the first of the 2012 presidential debates
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between president barack obama the democratic nominee and former massachusetts governor mitt romney the republican nominee. this debate and the next three, two presidential, one vice presidential, are sponsored by the commission on presidential debates. tonight's 90 minutes will be about domestic issues. and will follow a format designed by the commission. there will be six, roughly 15-minute segments with two-minute answers for the first question. then open discussion for the remainder of each segment. thousands of people offered suggestions on segment subjects or questions via the internet and other means but i made the final selections. and for the record, they were not submitted for approval to the commission or the candidates. the segments as i announced in advance will be three on the economy and one each on health care, the role of government,
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and governing. with an emphasis throughout on differences, specifics, and choices. both candidates will also have two-minute closing statements. the audience here in the hall has promised to remain silent. no cheers, applause, boos, hisses among other noisy distracting things so we may all concentrate on what the candidates have to say. there is a noise exception right now, though, as we welcome president obama and governor romney. [ applause ] >> jim.
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>> gentlemen, welcome to you both. let's start with the economy. segment one. and let's begin with jobs. what are the major differences between the two of you about how you would go about creating new jobs? you have two minutes -- each of you have two minutes to start. a coin toss has determined. mr. president you will go first. >> thank you, jim for this opportunity. i want to thank governor romney and the university of denver for your hospitality. there are a lot of points i want to make tonight, but the most important one is 20 years ago i became the luckiest man on earth because michelle obama agreed to marry me. so i just want to wish sweetie, you annen anniversary. and a year from now we won't be celebrating it in front of 40
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million people. four years ago we went through the greatest financial crisis since the great depression. the auto industry was on the brink of collapse, the financial system had frozen up. and because of the resilience and the determination of the american people, we've begun to fight our way back over the last 30 months we've seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. the auto industry has come roaring back. and housing has begun to rise. but we all know that we've still got a lot of work to do. and so the question here tonight is not where we've been. but where we're going. governor romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy and roll back regulations that we'll be better off. i've got a different view. i think we've got to invest in education and training. i think it's important for us to develop new sources of energy here in america. that we change our tax code to
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make sure that we're helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the united states. that we take some of the money we're saving as we wind down two wars to rebuild america. and that we reduce our deficit in a balanced way that allows us to make these critical investments. now, ultimately is going to be up to the voters, to you. which path we should take. are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess? or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says america does best when the middle class does best. and i'm looking forward to having that debate. >> governor romney, two minutes. >> thank you, jim. it's an honor to be here with you. i appreciate the chance to be with the president. i'm pleased to be at the university of denver, appreciate their welcome and also the presidential commission on these debates. and congratulations to you, mr. president, on your anniversary. i'm sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine here with me.
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congratulations. this is obviously a tender to c topic. i've had the occasion over the past years. i was in dayton, ohio, and a woman grabbed my arm. she said i've been out of work since may, can you help me? yesterday was in a rally in denver and a woman came up with a by by in her arms and said ann, my husband has had four part-time jobs in three years. he lost his most recent job and we just lost our home. can you help us? and the answer is yes. we can help. but it's going to take a different path. not the one we've been on, not the one the president describes as a top-down, cut taxes for the rich. that's not what i'm going to do. my plan has five basic parts. one get us energy independent. that creates about 4 million jobs. number two, open up more trade particularly in latin-america, crack down on china if and when they cheat. number three, make sure our people have the skills they need
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to succeed. best schools in the world. we are far from that now. number four, get a balanced budget. and number five, champion small business. it's small business that creates the jobs in america. over the last four years, small business people have decided that america may not be the place to open a new business. because new business start-ups are down to a 30-year low. i know what it takes to get small business growing again. to hire people. i'm concerned the path we're on has been unsuccessful. the president has a view very similar to the view he had four years ago. that a bigger government, regulating more, spending more, if you will, trickle down government will work. that's not the right answer for america. i'll restore the vitality that gets america working again. thank you. >> mr. president, please respond directly to what the governor just said about trickle down. his trickle down approach as he said yours is. >> well, let me talk specifically about what i think we need to do.
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first we've got to improve our education system. and we've made enormous progress drawing on ideas both from democrats and republicans that are already starting to show gains in some of the toughest to deal with schools. we've got a program called race to the top that has prompted reforms in 46 states around the country raising standards, improving how we train teachers. now i want to hire another thousand math and science teachers and create 2 million more slots in community colleges so people can get trained for the jobs out there right now. and i want to make sure that we keep tuition low for our young people. when it comes to our tax code, governor romney and i both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high. so i want to lower it particularly for manufacturing. taking it down to 25%. but i also want to close loopholes that are giving
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incentives for companies shipping jobs overseas. i want to give breaks to those investing in the united states. on energy, we both agree we've got to boost american production. oil and natural gas production are higher than they've been in years. but i also believe that we've got to look at the energy sources of the future like wind and solar and biofuels and make those investments. now, all of this is possible. in order for us to do it we'll have to close our deficit. one of the things tonight we'll discuss is how do we deal with our tax code and make sure we're reducing spending in a responsible way. also a revenue to make investments. this is where there's a difference. because government romney's central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of the extension of the bush tax cuts. and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn't asked for. that's a trillion dollars.
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how we pay for that and make the investments that we need to make without dumps those costs son the middle class americans is one of the central questions of this campaign. >> both of you have spoken about a lot of different things. and we're going to try too get through them in a specific a way as we possibly can. but first governor romney, do you have a question you'd like to ask the president directly about something he just said? >> sure. i'd like to clear up the record and go through piece by piece. first of all, yo a $5 trillion tax cut. i don't have a tax cut. my view is to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. but i'm not going to increase by high income people. they'll do fine whether you're president or i am. the people have been having a hard time right now are middle income americans. middle income americans have been buried. they're being crushed. middle income americans have seen their income come down by
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$4,300. this is a tax in and of itself. i'll call it the economy tax. it's been crushing. the same time gasoline prices have doubled under the president, electric rates are up, food prices are up, health care costs have gone up by $2,500 a family. middle income families are being crushed. so the question is how to get them going again. i've described it. it's energy and trade, the right kind of training a programs, balancing our budget, and helping small business. those are the corner stones of my plan. but the president mentioned a couple of other ideas i'll note. first, education. i agree. education is key, particularly the future of our economy. but our training programs right now we've got 47 of them housed in the federal government reporting to eight different agencies. overhead is overwhelming. we've got to get those dollars back to the states and go to the workers who they can create their own pathways to get training for the jobs that will help them. the second taxation. we agree we've got to bring the tax rates down. both for corporations and individuals.
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but in order for us not to lose revenue, have the government run the money, i also lower deductions and credits and exemptions so we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth. the third area, energy. energy is critical and the president pointed out correctly that production of gas and oil in the u.s. is up. 3 but not due to his policies. in spite of his policies. all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. on government land your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half. if i'm president, i'll double them. i'll also get the oil from offshore in alaska and bring the pipeline in from canada. and i like coal. i want to make sure we continue to burn clean coal. people in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies. i want to get america and north america energy independent so we can create those jobs. and finally with regards to that tax cut, look.
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i'm not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the revenues going to the government. my number one principle is there'll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. i want to underline that. no tax cut that adds to the deficit. but i do want to reduce the burden being paid by middle income americans. and to do that, that also means i cannot reduce the burden paid by high income americans. so any language to the contrary is something not accurate. >> mr. president? >> well, i think -- let's talk about taxes because i think it's instructive. now, four years ago when i stood on this stage i said that i would cut taxes for middle class families. and that's exactly what i did. we cut taxes for middle class families by about $3,600. and the reason is because i believe that we do best when the middle class is doing well. and by giving them those tax cuts, they had a little more money in their pocket.
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maybe they can buy a new car. they are certainly in a better position to weather the extraordinary recession we went through. they can buy a computer for their kid going to college. which means they're spending more money, businesses have more customers and make more profits and hire more workers. governor romney's proposal that he's been promoting for 18 months calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of additional spending for the military. he is saying he's going to pay for it by closing loopholes and deductions. the problem is that he's been asked over a hundred times how you would close those deductions and loopholes. and he hasn't been able to identify them. but i'm going to make an important point here, jim. when you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper income individuals are currently taking advantage of, you take those all away, you don't come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military
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spending. and that's why independent studies looking at this said the only way to meet governor romney's pledge of not reducing the deficit or not adding to the deficit is by burdening middle class families, the average middle class family with children would pay about $2,000 more. now, that's not my analysis. that's the analysis of the economists who have looked at this. and that kind of top-down economics where folks at the top are doing well so the average person making 3 million bucks is getting a $250,000 tax break while middle class families are burdened further, that's not what i believe is a recipe for economic growth. >> okay. what is the difference? let's stay on taxes for a moment here. >> but virtually everything he said about this tax plan is inaccurate. if the tax plan he described were a tax plan i was asked to support, i'd say absolutely not. i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut.
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what i've said is i won't put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. that's part one. so there's no economist can say mitt romney's tax plan adds $5 trillion if i say i will not add to the deficit with my tax plan. number two, i will not reduce the share paid by high income individuals. i know that you and your running mate keep saying that and it's popular with a lot of people, but it's just not the case. i've got five boys. i'm used to people saying something that's not always true but keep on repeating and hoping i'll believe it. but that is not the case, all right? i will not reduce the taxes paid by high income americans. and number three, i will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle income families. i will lower income on middle income families. you did a study. there are others that said it was completely wrong. i saw a study today that said you'll raise taxes by $4,000 on
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middle income families. there are all these studies out there. i want to bring rates down and exemptions and credits and so forth so we keep getting the revenue we need. and you think well then why lower the rates? and the reason is because small business pays that individual rate. a 54% of america's workers work in businesses that are taxed not at the corporate tax rate but at the individual tax rate. and if we lower that rate, they will be able to high more people. for me this is about jobs. >> that's what we started. yeah. do you challenge what the governor just said about his own plan? >> well, for 18 months he's been running on this tax plan. and now five weeks before the election he's saying that his big bold idea is never mind. and the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you described, governor, then it is not possible to come up with
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enough deductions and loopholes that only effect high income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. it's math. it's arithmetic. now, governor romney and i do share a deep interest in encouraging small business growth. so at the same time that my tax plan has already lowered taxes for 98% of families, i also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times. and what i want to do is continue the tax rates, the tax cuts that we put into place for small businesses and families. but i have said that for incomes over $250,000 a year that we should go back to the rates we had when bill clinton was president when we went from deficit to surplus. and created a whole lot of millionaires to boot. the reason this is important is because by doing this we cannot
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only reduce the deficit, we cannot only encourage job growth through small businesses but we can make the investments necessary in education or in energy. and we do have a difference, though, when it comes to definitions of small business. under my plan, 97% of small businesses would not see their income taxes go up. governor romney says well those top 3%, they're the job creators, they'd be burdened. but under governor romney's definition, they're a bunch of millionaires and billionaires. donald trump is a small business. i don't know he doesn't like to think of himself as small anything, but that's how you define small businesses if you're getting business income. and that kind of approach, i believe, will not grow our economy. the only way to pay for it without either burdening the middle class or blowing up our deficit is to make drastic cuts
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in things like education, making sure that we are continuing to invest in basic science and research. and i think that would be a mistake. >> all right. >> jim, let me come back on that point. >> just for the record -- excuse me. just so everybody understands, we're way over our first 15 minutes. >> it's fun, isn't it? >> it's great. no problem. we're still on the economy. we're going to come back to taxes. we're going to move on to the deficit and a lot of other things too. but go ahead, sir. >> you bet. mr. president, you're absolutely right. with regards to 97% of the businesses are not taxed at the 35% tax rate, it's a lower rate. but those businesses in the last 3% of the businesses happen to employ half of all the people who work in small business. those are the small businesses that employ 1/4 of all the workers in america. and your plan so to take their tax rate from 35% to 40%.
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i talked to a guy who has a very small business. he's in the electronics business in st. louis. he has four employs. he and his son calculated how much they by pay in tax. federal income tax, state taels tax, gasoline tax, it added up to well over 50% of what they earned. and your plan is to take the tax rate on successful small businesses from 35% to 40%. the national federation of independent business has said that will cost 700,000 jobs. i don't want to cost jobs. my priority is jobs. and so what i do is i bring down the tax rates, lower deductions. lower deductions and exemptions to create more jobs. because there's nothing better for getting us to a balanced budget than having more people working, earning more money, paying more taxes. that's by far the mos effective
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and efficient way to get this budget balanced. >> jim, you may want to move on to another topic, but i would say this to the american people. if you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for, $7 trillion just to give you a sense over ten years that's more than our entire defense budget. and you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well to do somehow you will not end up picking up the tab. then governor romney's plan may work for you. but i think math, common sense, and our history shows us that's not a recipe for job growth. look, we've tried this. we've tried both approaches. the approach that governor romney is talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003. and we ended up with the slowest
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job growth in 50 years. we ended up moving from surplus to deficits. and it all culminated in the worst financial crisis since the great depression. bill clinton tried the approach that i'm talking about. we created 23 million new jobs. we went from deficit to surplus. and businesses did very well. so in some ways we've got some data on which approach is more likely to create jobs and opportunity for americans. and i believe that the economy works best when middle class families are getting tax breaks so that they've got some money in their pockets. and those of us who have done extraordinarily well because of this magnificent country that we live in, that we can afford to do a little bit more to make sure we're not blowing up the deficit. >> the president began the segment, so i think i get the last word -- >> well, you'll get the first word in the next segment. >> i get the last word of the segment. let me make this comment.
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>> that's not how it works. >> let me repeat what i said. i'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan. my plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. that's point one. you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but that's not my plan. >> okay. >> number two, let's look at history. my plan is not like anything that's been tried before. my plan is to bring down rates but also bring down deductions and exemptions and credits at the same time so the revenue stays in. but that we bring down rates to get more people working. my priority is putting people back to work in america. they're suffering in this country. and we talk about evidence. look at the evidence of the last four years. it's absolutely extraordinary. we've got 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work in this country. >> all right. >> when the president took office, 32 million people on food stamps. 47 million on food stamps today. economic growth this year slower
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than last year. going forward with the status quo is not going to cut it for the american people struggling today. >> all right. let's talk -- we're still on the economy. this is theoretically now a second segment still on the economy. and specifically on what to do about the federal deficit. the federal debt. and the question, you each have two minutes on this. and governor romney, you go first because the president went first on segment one. and what are the differences between the two of you as to how you go about tackling the deficit problem in this country? >> good. i'm glad you raise that. it's a critical issue. i think it's not just an economic issue. i think it's a moral issue. i think it's frankly not moral for my generation to keep spending massively more than we take in knowing those burdens are going to be passed on to the next generation. and they're going to be paying the interest and the principle all their lives.
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and the amount of debt we're adding a year is not moral. how do we deal with it? mathematically, there's three ways you can cut a deficit. one, of course, is to raise taxes. number two is to cut spending. and number three is to grow the economy. because if more people work in a growing economy, they're paying taxes and you can get the job done that way. the president would prefer raising taxes. i understand. the problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth. and you can never quite get the job done. i want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time. what things would i cut from spending? well, first of all i will eliminate all programs by this test if they don't pass it. is the program so critical it's worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? if not, i'll get rid of it. obama care is on my list. i apologize mr. president. i'm sorry, jim. i'm going to stop the subsidy to pbs. i like pbs.
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i love big bird. i like you too. but i'm not going to spend money on things to borrow money from china to pay for. i'm going to take programs that are good programs that could be run more efficiently at the state level and send them to the state. number three, make government more efficient. combine some agencies and departments. cutbacks will be done through attrition by the way. this is the approach to take to get america to a balanced budget. the president said he'd cut the deficit in half. unfortunately, he doubled it. trillion dollar deficits for the last four years. the president's put in place as much debt held by the public than all prior presidents combined. >> mr. president, two minutes. >> when i walked in the oval office, i had more than a trillion dollar deficit greeting me. and we know where it came from. two wars that were paid for on a credit card, two tax cuts that were not paid for, and a whole bunch of programs that were not
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paid for, and then a massive economic crisis. and spite that what we've said is yes we've taken emergency measures to make sure we didn't slip into a great depression. but what we also said is make sure we're cutting out those things that are not helping us grow. so 77 government programs everything from aircrafts that the air force had ordered but weren't working very well, 18 government programs for education that were well intentioned but weren't helping kids learn. we went after medical fraud in medicare and medicaid. very aggressively. more aggressively than ever before and saved tens of billions of dollars. $50 billion of waste takingen out of the system. and i worked with democrats and republicans to cut a trillion dollars out of the discretionary budget. that's the largest cut since dwight eisenhower there.
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we all know we've got to do more. so i put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. it's on the website. you can look at all the numbers. what cuts we make and what revenue we raise. and the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut we ask for $1 of additional revenue paid for as i indicated earlier by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit. governor romney earlier mentioned the bowles simpson commission. well, that's how the commission -- bipartisan commission that talked about how we should move forward suggested to do it. in a balanced way with some revenue and some spending cuts. and this is a major difference governor romney and i have. let me finish this point because you're looking for contrast. when governor romney stood on a stage with other republican candidates for the nomination and he was asked would you take
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$10 of spending cuts for just $1 of revenue and he said no. now, if you take such an unbalanced approach, then that means you are going to be gutting our investments in schools and education. it means that governor romney talked about medicaid and how we could send it back to the states. but effectively this means a 30% cut in the program we have for seniors in nursing homes -- >> mr. president -- >> that is not a right strategy for us to proceed. >> way over the two minutes. >> sorry. >> governor, what about simpson bowles? >> the president should have grabbed that. >> no, i mean do you support simpson bowles? >> i have my own plan. it's not the same. but in my view, the president should have grabbed it. go to congress, fight for it. >> that's what we've done. made adjustments and putting it in front of congress right now. >> but you've been president
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four years. said you'd cut the deficit in half. the cbo says we'll have a trillion dollar deficit each of the next four years. if you're re-elected. you said before you'd cut the deficit in half. i love this idea of $4 trillion in cuts. you found $4 trillion of ways to reduce and get closer to a balanced budget but we still show trillion dollar deficits every year. that doesn't get the job done. let me say why is it i don't want to raise taxes. why i don't want to raise taxes on people. you said it back in 2010 you said i'm going to extend the tax policies we have. i'm not going to raise taxes on anyone. because when the economy's growing slow like this, when we're in recession you shouldn't raise taxes on anyone. well, the economy is still growing slow. as a matter of fact, it's growing much more slowly now than when you made that statement. so if you believe the same thing, you just don't want to raise taxes on people. and the reality is it's not just
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wealthy people. you mentioned donald trump. it's not just him you're taxing. it's these small businesses that are taxed as individuals. you raise taxes and you kill jobs. that's why the national federation of independent businesses says your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. i don't want to kill jobs in this environment. let me make one more point. >> answer the taxes thing for a moment. >> okay. >> mr. president? >> well, we've had this discussion before. >> about the idea that in order to reduce the deficit, there has to be revenue in addition to cuts. >> there has to be revenue in addition to cuts. governor romney has ruled out revenue. >> absolutely. look, the revenue i get is by more people working getting higher pay paying more taxes. that's how we get growth and how we balance the budget. but the idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work, you'll never get there. you'll never balance the budget
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by raising taxes. spain spends 42% of their total economy on government. we're now spending 42% of our economy on government. i don't want to go down to the path to spain. i want to go down the path that puts more americans to work. >> but mr. president you're saying in order to get the job done, it's got to be balanced. >> if we're serious, we've got to take a balanced responsible approach. by the way, this is not just when it comes to individual taxes. let's talk about corporate taxes. now, i've identified areas where we can right away make a change that i believe would actually help the economy. the oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. basically they get deductions that those small businesses that governor romney refers to, they don't get. now, does anybody think that exxonmobil needs some extra money when they're making money
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every time you go to the pump? why wouldn't we want to eliminate that? why wouldn't we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets? my ath attitude is if you got a corporate jet, you can probably pay full freight. not get a special break. governor romney has said he wants in a revenue neutral way close loopholes, deductions, he hasn't identified which ones they are, but that thereby bring down the corporate rate. well, i want to do the same thing but i've identified how we can do that. and part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. right now you can actually take a deduction for moving a plant overseas. i think most americans would say that doesn't make sense. and all that raises revenue. so if we take a balanced approach, what that then allows us to do is also to help young people the way we already have
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during my administration make sure that they can afford to go to college. it means that the teacher that i met in las vegas, wonderful young lady who describes to me she's got 42 kids in her class. the first two weeks she's got some of them sitting on the floor until finally they get reassigned. they're using textbooks that are ten years old. that is not a recipe for growth. that's not how america was built. and so budgets reflect choices. ultimately we're going to have to make some decisions. and if we're asking for no revenue, then that means that we've got to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff and the magnitude of the tax cuts that you're talking about, governor, would end up resulting in severe hardship for people but more importantly would not help us grow. as i indicated before, when you talk about shifting medicaid to states, we're talking about potentially a 30% cut in medicaid over time.
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now, that may not seem like a big deal when it just is numbers on a sheet of paper, but if we're talking about a family who's got on autistic kid and is depending on that medicaid, that's a big problem. and governors are creative. there's no doubt about it. they're not creative enough -- what ends up happening is some people end up not getting help. >> jim, let's -- we've got a lot of topics there. it's going to take a minute to go from medicaid to schools. >> go back to medicaid. >> then companies going overseas. let's go through them one by one. first of waall, $2.8 billion a year and it's an accounting treatment that's been in place for a hundred years. >> it's time to end it. >> and in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. now, i like green energy as well, but that's about 50 year's
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worth of what oil and gas receives and you say exxonmobil, this $2.8 billion goes largely to small companies with drilling and such. but if we get that down to 20% bb of course it's on the table. that's probably not going to survive. you get that rate down to 25%. but don't forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 year's worth of breaking into solar and wind into fisker and tesla and solyndra. so this is not the kind of policy you want to have if you want to get america energy secure. the second topic. you get a deduction for taking a plant overseas. i've been in business for 25 years. i have no idea what you're talking about. i maybe need to get a new accountant, but the idea you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is not the case. what we have is to bring money
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back to this country. medicaid to states i'm not sure where that came in except this. i would like to take the medicaid dollars that go to states and say to a state you're going to get what you got last year plus inflation plus 1% and then you're going to manage your care for your poor in the way you think best. i remember as a governor when this idea was floated by tommy thompson, the governors republicans and democrats said please let us do that. we can care for our own poor in so much better and more effective a way than having the federal government tell us how to care for our poor. one of the magnificent things about this country is don't have the federal government tell everybody what training programs they have to have. let states do this. and by the way, if a state gets in trouble, we can step in and find a way to help them. but the right approach is one which relies on the people and
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states not the federal government. >> we're going still on the economy but on another part of it. all right? this is segment three, the economy. entitlements. first answer goes to you. two minutes, mr. president. do you see a major difference between the two of you on social security? >> i suspect that on social security we've got a somewhat similar position. social security is structurally sound. it's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by ronald reagan and democratic speaker tip o'neil. but the basic structure is sound. but i want to talk about the values behind social security and medicare. and then talk about medicare because that's the big driver of our deficits right now. my grandmother some of you know helped to raise me. my grandfather died awhile back. my grandmother died three days
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before i was elected president. she was fiercely independent. she started as a secretary, ended up being the vice president of a local bank. and she ended up living alone by choice. and the reason she could be independent was because of social security and medicare. she had worked all her life, put in this money, and understood that there was a basic guarantee a floor under which she could not go. that's the perspective i bring when i think about what's called entitlements. you know, the name itself implies some sense of dependency on the part of these folks. these are folks who have worked hard. like my grandmother. and there are millions of people out there counting on this. so my approach is to say how do we strengthen the system over the long-term? and in medicare, what we did was we said we are going to have to bring down the costs if we're going to deal with our long-term deficits. but to do that, let's look where some of the money's going.
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$716 billion we were able to save from the medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers. and using that money we were actually able to lower prescription drugs for seniors and also able to make a significant dent in providing them the preventive care that will ultimately save money throughout the system. so the way for us to deal with medicare in particular is to lower health care costs. when it comes to social security, as i said, you don't need a major structural change in order to make sure that social security is there for the future. >> follow-up on this. first governor romney you have two minutes on social security and entitlements. >> well, jim, our seniors depend on these programs. and i know anytime we talk about entitlements, people become concerned that something's going to happen that's going to change their life for the worst. and the answer is neither the president nor i are proposing
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any changes for any current retirees or near retirees either to social security or medicare. so if you're 60 or around 60 or older, you don't need to listen any further. but for younger people we need to talk about what changes are going to be occurring. i just thought about one. and that is in fact i was wrong when i said the president isn't proposing any changes for current retirees. he is on medicare, on social security he's not. but on medicare for current retirees, he's cutting $716 billion from the program. now he says by not overpaying hospitals and providers. actually, just going to them saying we're going to reduce the rates you get paid across the board everybody's going to get a lower rate. that's not just going after places with abuse, that's going after rates. hospitals say they won't take more medicare patients under that scenario. 50% of doctors say they won't take more medicare patients. we have 4 million people on
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medicare advantage that will lose medicare advantage because of those $716 billion in cuts. i can't understand how you can cut medicare $716 billion for current recipients. you say we're going to put some back. better prescription program. that's $1 for every $15 you cut. they're smart enough to know that's not a good trade. i want to take that $716 billion you cut and put it back into medicare. by the way, we can include a prescription program to improve it. but the idea of cutting $716 billion from medicare to balance the additional cost of obama care in my opinion is a mistake. and with regards to young people coming along, i've got proposals to make sure medicare and social security are there for them without any question. >> mr. president? >> first of all, i think it's important for governor romney to present this plan that he says will only affect folks in the future. and the essence of the plan is
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that he would turn medicare into a voucher program. it's called premium support, but it's understood to be a voucher program. >> and you don't support that? >> i don't. and let me explain why. >> again, that's for future people. not current retirees. >> so if you're 54 or 55, you might want to listen. because this will affect you. the idea which was originally presented by congressman ryan, your running mate, is that we would give a voucher to seniors and they could go out in the private market place and buy their own health insurance. the problem is that because the voucher wouldn't necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about $6,000 a year. now, in fairness, what governor romney has now said is he'll maintain traditional medicare alongside it. but there's still a problem.
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because what happens is those insurance companies are pretty clever at figuring out who are the younger and healthier seniors. they recruit them. leaving the older, sicker seniors in medicare. and every health care economist who looks at it says over time what'll happen is the traditional medicare system will collapse. and then what you've got is folks like my grandmother at the mercy of the private insurance system precisely at the time when they are most in need of decent health care. so i don't think vouchers are the right way to go. and this is not my only opinion. arp thinks that the savings we obtained from medicare bolstered the system, lengthened the fund by eight years. benefits were not affected at all. and ironically if you repeal obama care and i have become fond of this term obama care, if you repeal it, what happens is those seniors right away are
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going to be paying $600 more for prescriptions and paying higher copays. and the primary beneficiary of that repeal are insurance companies that are estimated to gain billions of dollars back when they aren't making seniors any healthier. and i don't think that's the right approach when it comes to making sure that medicare is stronger over the long-term. >> we'll talk about specifically about health care in a moment, but what -- do you support the voucher system, governor? >> what i support is no change for current retirees and near ree tire rees to medicare. and the president supports taking $716 billion out of that program. >> what about for -- >> number two is for people coming along that are young. what to do to ensure medicare to be there. for them to choose the current
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medicare plan or private plan. their choice. so they don't have to pay additional money, no additional $6,000. they'll have at least two plans. and by the way, if the government can be as efficient as the private sector and offer premiums, people will be happy to get traditional medicare. or they'll get a private plan. i know what my own view is. i'd rather have a private plan. i'd rather not have the government telling me what health care to get. i'd like an insurance company and if i don't like them, i can get rid of them. the other thing to do to save medicare, we have to have the benefits high for those that are low income, but for higher income people we're going to have to lower some of the benefits. we have to make sure this term is there for the long-term. and the idea came not even from paul ryan or senator wyden who's a coauthor in the senate. but also came from bill clinton's chief of staff. this is an idea that's been around a long time which is
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saying hey, let's see if we can't get competition into the medicare world so that people can get the choice of different plans at lower cost, better quality. i believe in competition. >> jim, if i can just respond very quickly. first of all, every study has shown that medicare has lower administrative costs than private insurance does. which is why seniors are generally pretty happy with it. and private insurers have to make a profit. nothing wrong with that. that's what they do. so you've got higher administrative costs plus profit on top of that. and if you were going to save any money through what governor romney is proposing, what has to happen is the money has to come from somewhere. and when you move to a voucher system, you are putting seniors at the mercy of those insurance companies and over time if traditional medicare has decayed or fallen apart, then they're stuck. and this is the reason why aarp
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has said that your plan would weaken medicare substantially. and that's why they were supportive of the approach that we took. one last point i want to make. we do have a lower the cost of health care. not just in medicare -- >> we'll talk about that in a minute. >> -- but overall. >> that's a big topic. can we stay on medicare? >> yeah. i want to get to it. all i want to do very quickly before we move on -- >> let's get back to medicare. >> the president said -- at a lower cost without a profit. if that's the case, that will always be the best product that people can purchase. >> wait a minute, governor -- >> my experience is the private sector can provide a better product at a lower cost. >> can the two of you agree that the voters have a choice, a clear choice between you on medicare. >> absolutely. >> all right. so to finish quickly, briefly on the economy. what is your view about the level of federal regulation of the economy right now?
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is there too much and in your case, mr. president, should there be more? beginning with you. this is not a new two minute segment. just start. we'll go for a few minutes then go to health care. okay? >> regulation is essential. you can't have a free market work if you don't have regulation. as a business person, i had to have regulation, i needed them there. you couldn't have people opening up banks in their garage and making loans. i mean, you have to have regulation so you can have an economy work. every free economy has good regulation. at the same time, regulation can become successful. >> is it successive now? >> it can become out of date. what's happened with some of the legislation that's been passed during the president's term, you've seen regulation become excessive and it's hurt the economy. let me give you an example. dodd frank was passed. it includes within it a number of provisions that i think has some unintended consequences
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that are harmful to the economy. one is it designates a number of banks is too big to fail. they're effectively guaranteed by the federal government. this is the biggest kiss given to new york banks i've seen. there've been 122 small banks have closed since dodd frank. in another -- >> you want to repeal dodd frank? >> well, i would repeal and replace it. we're not going to get rid of all regulation. you have to have regulation. there's some parts that make all the sense in the world. you need to have transparency. >> that's a specific -- excuse me. >> let's -- >> no, no let's not. let's let him respond to this specific on dodd frank and what the governor just said. >> i think this is a great example. the reason we have been in such an enormous economic crisis was
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prompted by reckless behavior across the board. it wasn't just on wall street. you had loan officers that were given loans and mortgages that really shouldn't have been given. because the folks didn't qualify. you had people who were borrowing money to buy a house they couldn't afford. you had credit agencies that were stamping these as a-1 great investments when they weren't. but you also had banks making money hand over fist churning out products that the bankers themselves didn't even understand. in order to make big profits but knowing that it made the entire system vulnerable. so what did we do? we stepped in and had the toughest reforms on wall street since the 1930s. we said you've got banks, you've got to raise your capital requirements. you can't engage in this behavior that's putting main street at risk. we've got to make sure you have a living will so we can know how you're going to wind things down
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if you make a bad bet so we don't have other taxpayer bailouts. in the meantime, we also made sure that all the help that we provided those banks was paid back every single dime with interest. now, governor romney has said he wants to repeal dodd frank. and, you know, i appreciate and it appears we've got some agreement that a market place to work has to have some regulation. in the past he said he just wants to repeal dodd frank, roll it back. and so the question is does anybody out there think that the big problem we had is that there was too much oversight and regulation of wall street? because if you do, then governor romney is your candidate. but that's not what i believe. >> sorry, jim. this is not the facts. look, we have to have regulation on wall street. that's why i'd have regulation. but i wouldn't designate five banks as too big to fail and
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give them a blank check. that's one of the unintended consequences of dodd frank. we need to get rid of that provision. it's killing regional and small banks. they're getting hurt. let me mention another. you said we were giving mortgages to people who weren't qualified. that's right. it's one of the reasons for the great financial calamity we had. so dodd frank says we need to have qualified mort ganls. and if you give one that's not qualified, there are big penalties. except they didn't define what a qualified mortgage was. it's been two years. we don't know what it is yet. so banks are reluctant to make loans, mortgages. try and get a mortgage these days. it's hurt the housing market. because dodd frank didn't anticipate putting in place the kind of regulations you have to have. it's not that dodd frank always was wrong with too much regulation. sometimes they didn't come out with a clear regulation. i will make sure we don't hurt the functioning of our market place and our businesses because i want to bring back housing and
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get good jobs. >> all right. i think we have another clear difference between the two of you. now let's move to health care where i know there is a clear difference. and that has to do with the affordable care act, obama care. and it's a two-minute new segment. two minutes each. you go first, governor romney. you want the affordable care act repealed, why? >> i sure do. well, in part it comes again from my experience. i was in new hampshire. a woman came to me and said i can't afford insurance for myself or my son. i met a couple in wisconsin and they said we're thinking of dropping our insurance. we can't afford it. and the number of small businesses that i've gone to that are saying they're dropping insurance because they can't afford it, the cost of health care is just prohibitive. and we've got to deal with cost. and unfortunately when you look at obama care, the congressional
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budget office said it will cost more than traditional insurance. so it's adding cost. as a matter of fact when he ran for office he said by this year he would have brought down the cost of insurance for each family. instead it's gone up. so it's expensive. expensive things hurt families. that's one reason i don't want it. second reason, it cuts $716 billion from medicare to pay for it. i want to put that money back in medicare. for our seniors. number three, it puts in place an unelected board that's going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can have. i don't like that idea. fourth, there was a survey done of small businesses done across the country. said what's been the effect of obama care on your hiring plans? and 3/4 of them said it makes us less likely to hire people. i just don't know how the president could have come into office facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table, and spend
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energy and passion for two years fighting for obama care instead of fighting for jobs and the american people. it has killed jobs. and the best course for health care is to do what we did in my state. craft a plan at the state level that fits the needs of the state and then let's focus on getting the costs down for people rather than raising it with the $2,500 additional premium. >> mr. president, the argument against repeal. >> well, four years ago when i was running for office i was traveling around having the same conversations governor romney talks about. and it wasn't just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket and they couldn't get affordable coverage even if they wanted to provide it for their employees. it wasn't just that this was the biggest driver of our deficit, our health care costs. but it was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick. millions of families all across the country. if they had a pre-existing
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condition, they might not be able to get coverage at all. if they did have coverage, insurance companies might impose an arbitrary limit. and so as a consequence they're paying their premiums, somebody gets really sick. lo and behold, they don't have enough money to pay the bills because the insurance companies say that they've hit the limit. so we did work on this alongside working on jobs. because this is part of making sure that middle class families are secure in this country. let me tell you exactly what obama care did. number one, if you've got health insurance, it doesn't mean a government takeover. you keep your own insurance and doctor. it does say insurance companies can't jerk you around. they can't impose arbitrary lifetime limits. they have to let you keep your kid on your insurance plan until you're 26 years old. and it also says that you're going to have to get rebates if
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insurance companies are spending more on administrative costs and profits than they are on actual care. number two, if you have health insurance, we're essentially setting up a group plan that allows you to benefit from group rates that are typically 18% lower than if you're out there trying to get insurance on the individual market. now the last point i'd make before -- >> two minutes is up, sir. >> i had five seconds before you interrupted me, was the irony is that we've seen this model work really well in massachusetts because governor romney did a good thing, working with democrats in the state to set up what is essentially the identical model and as a consequence people are covered there. it hasn't destroyed jobs. and as a consequence, we now
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have a system in which we have the opportunity to start bringing down costs as opposed to just leaving millions of people out in the cold. >> your five seconds went away a long time ago. all right, governor, tell the president directly why you think what he just said is wrong about obama care. >> i did but i'll go on. i'll elaborate. you're exactly right. first of all, i like way we did it in massachusetts. i like the fact in my state we had republicans and democrats come together and work together. what you did instead was to push through a plan without a single republican vote, as a matter of fact, when massachusetts did something quite extraordinary, elected a republican senator to stop obama care, you pushed it through anyway. so totally on a partisan basis, instead of bringing america together, you pushed through something that you and nancy pelosi and harry reid thought was the best answer and drove it through. what we did in a legislature,
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87% democrat, we work together. 200 legislators in my legislature, only two voted against the prlan about it time we were finished. what were the differences? we didn't raise taxes. we didn't cut medicare by $716 billion. we didn't put in place a board that can tell people ultimately what treatments they're going to receive. we didn't also do something that i think a number of people across this country recognize which is put people in a position where they're going to lose the insurance they had, they wanted. right now the cbo says up to 20 million people will lose their insurance as obama care goes into effect next year. and likewise a study by mckenzie & company of american business said 30% of them are anticipating dropping people from coverage. so for those reasons, for the tax, for medicare, for this board, and for people losing insurance, that is why the american people don't want obama care. it's why republicans said do not do this.
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and the republicans had the plan. they put a plan out. they put in a plan, a bipartisan plan, it was swept aside. i think something this big, this important has to be done in a bipartisan basis. we have to have a president who can reach across the aisle and fashion important legislation with the input from both parties. >> governor romney said this has to be done in a bipartisan basis. this is a bipartisan idea. in fact, it was a republican idea. governor romney at the beginning of his debate wrote and said what we did in massachusetts could be a model for the nation. and i agree that that the democratic legislators in massachusetts might have given him some advice to republicans in congress about how to cooperate, but the fact of the matter is we use the same advisors and they say it's the same plan. when governor romney talks about this board, for example, the unelected board we created is a group of health care experts, doctors, et cetera, to figure
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out how can we reduce the cost of care in the system overall? because there are two ways of dealing with our health care crisis. one is to simply let a whole bunch of people uninsured and let them fend for themselves, let businesses figure out how long they can continue to pay premiums until finally they just give up and their workers are no longer getting insured, and that's been the trend line, or alternatively we can figure out how do we make the cost of care more effective? and there are ways of doing it. at cleveland clinic, one of the best health care systems in the world, they actually provide great care cheaper than average. and the reason they do is because they do some smart things. they say if a patient is coming in, let's get all the doctors together at once, do one test instead of having the patient run around with ten tests. let's make sure that we're providing preventative care so
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we're catching the on set of something like diabetes. let's pay providers on the basis of performance as opposed to on the basis of how many procedures they've engaged in. now so what this board does is basically identifies best practices and says let's use the purchasing power of medicare and medicaid to help to institutionalize all these good things that we do. and the fact of the matter is that when obama care is fully implemented, we're going to be in a position to show that costs are going down. and over the last two years, health care premiums have gone up, it's true. but they've gone up slower than in any time in the last 50 years. so we're already beginning to see progress. in the meantime, folks out there with insurance, you're getting a rebate. let me make one last point. replace it.mney says we should i'm going to repeal it.
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but we can replace it with something. the problem is he hasn't described what exactly we would replace it with other than saying we're going to leave it to the states. the fact of the matter is that some of the prescriptions that he's offered like letting you buy insurance across state lines, there's no indication that somehow is going to help somebody that has a pre-existing condition be able to finally buy insurance. in fact, it's estimated that by repealing obama care, you're looking at 50 million people losing health insurance at a time when it's tightally important. >> let's let the governor explain what you would do. obama care is repealed. how would you replace it? >> actually, it's a lengthy description but number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. number two, young people are able to stay on their family plan. that's already offered in the private marketplace. you don't have to have the government to mandate that for that to occur. but let's come back to something that the president and i agree on which is the key task we have
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in health care is to get the cost down so it's more affordable for families and then he has his model for doing that. a board of people at the government and unelected board, appointed board who are going to decide what kind of treatment you ought to have. in my opinion, the government is not effective in bringing down the cost of almost anything. as a matter of fact, free people and free enterprises trying to find ways to do things better are able to be more effective in bringing down the costs than the government ever will be. your example of the clevelainicy case in point. this is the private market. these are small -- these are enterprises competing each other, learning how to do better and better jobs. i used to consult to businesses -- excuse me, to hospitals and health care providers. i was astonished at the creativity and innovation that exists in the american people. in order to bring the cost of health care down, we don't need to have a board of 15 people
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telling us what kinds of treatments we should have. we instead need to put insurance plans, providers, hospitals, doctors, on target such that they have incentive for doing an excellent job for keeping costs down and that's happening. intermountain health care does it superbly well. mayo clin sick doing it superbly well. cleveland clinic and others. the answer is not to have the federal government take over health care and start mandating to the providers across america telling a patient and a doctor what kind of treatment they can have. that's the wrong way to go. the private market and individual responsibility always work best. >> let me just point out first of all this board that we're talking about can't make decisions about what treatments are given. that's explicitly prohibited in the law. but let's go back to what governor romney indicated. under his plan he would be able to cover people with
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pre-existing conditions. well actually, governor, that isn't what your plan does. what your plan does is to duplicate what is already the law which says if you are out of health insurance for three months then you can end up getting continuous coverage and insurance company can't deny you if you've -- if it's been under 90 days. but that's already the law. and that doesn't help the millions of people out there with pre-existing conditions. there's a reason why governor romney set up the plan that he did in massachusetts. it wasn't a government takeover of health care. it was the largest expansion of private insurance. but what it does say is that insurers, you have to take everybody. now, that also means that you've got more customers. but when governor romney says that he'll replace it with something but can't detail how it will be, in fact, replaced
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and the reason he set up the system he did in massachusetts is because there isn't a better way of dealing with pre-existing conditions. it just reminds me of, you know, he says he's going to close deductions and loopholes for his tax plan. that's how it's going to be paid for. we don't know the details. he says that he's going to replace dodd/frank, wall street reform. we don't know exactly which ones. he won't tell us. he now says he's going to replace obama care and assure us all the good things in it will be in there and you don't have to worry. and at some point i think the american people have to ask themselves, is the reason that governor romney is keeping all these plans to replace secret because they're too good? is it because that somehow middle class families are going to benefit too much from them? no. the reason is because when we reform wall street, when we tackle the problem of
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pre-existing conditions, then, you know, these are tough problems. we've got to make choices. and the choices we've made have been ones that ultimately benefiting mid willidle class families. >> i have to respond to that which is my experience as a governor is if i come in and lay down a piece of legislation and say it's my way or the highway, i don't get a lot done. what i do is the same way that tip o'neill and ronald reagan worked together some years ago when ronald reagan ran for office he laid out the principles he was going to foster. he said he was going to lower tax rates. he said he was going to broaden the base. you said the same thing, simplify the tax code, broaden the base. those are my principles. i'm going to work together with congress to say okay what are the various ways we can bring down deductions, for instance? one way, for instance, is to have a single number. make up a number.
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$25,000, 5 $25,000, $50,000. one could follow bowls simpson as a model and take deduction by deduction and make difference that's way. there are alternatives to accomplish the objective i have which is to bring down rates and broaden the race, simplify the code and create incentives for growth. you had remarkable details with regards to my pre-existing condition plan. you obviously studied up on my plan. in fact, i have a plan that deals with people with pre-existing conditions. that's part of my health care plan. and what we did in massachusetts is a model for the nation state by state. and i said that at that time. the federal government taking over health care for the entire nation and whisking aside the tenth amendment which gives states the rights for these kinds of things is not the course for america to have a stronger, more vibrant economy. >> that is a terrific segue to our next seg ment, the role of
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government. role of government and you are first on this, mr. president. the question is this. do you believe, both of you, you have the first two minutes on this, mr. president, do you believe there is a fundamental difference between the two of you as to how you view the mission of the federal government? >> well, i definitely think there are differences. the first role of the federal government is to keep the american people safe. as commander in chief, that is something that i have worked on and thought about every single day that i've been in the moova office. i also believe that government has the capacity, the federal government has the capacity to help open up opportunity and create ladders of opportunity and to create frame works where the american people can succeed. look, the genius of america is the free enterprise system and
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freedom. the fact that people can go out there and start a business, work on an idea, make their own decisions. but as abraham lincoln understood, there are also some things we do better together. in the middle of the civil war, abraham lincoln said let's help to finance the transcontinental railroad. let's start the national academy of sciences. let's start land grant colleges. because we want to give these gateways of opportunity for all americans because if all americans are getting opportunity, we're all going to be better off. that doesn't restrict people's freedom. that enhances it. and so what i tried to do as president is to apply those same principles. when it comes to education, what i've said is we've got to reform schools that are not working. we use something called race to the top. it wasn't a top down approach, governor. what we said is to states we'll
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give you more money if you initiate reforms. and as a consequence, you had 46 states around the country who have made a real difference. but what i've also said is let's hire another 100,000 math and science teachers to make sure we maintain our technological lead and our people are skilled and able to succeed. and hard press the states right now cannot all do that. in fact, we've seen layoffs of hundreds of thousands of teachers over the last several years and governor romney doesn't think we need more teachers. i do. because i think that that is the kind of investment where the federal government can help and they can't do it all, but they can make a difference and as a consequence we'll have a better trained workforce and that will create jobs because companies want to locate where we have a skilled workforce. >> governor, two minutes. >> i love great schools. massachusetts, our schools are ranked number one of all 50 states. and the key to great schools, great teachers. so i reject the idea that i don't believe in great teachers
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or more teachers. every school district, every state should make that decision on their own. the role of government, look behind us. the constitution and the declaration of independence. the role of government is to promote and protect the principles of those documents. first, life and liberty. we have a responsibility to protect the lives and liberties of our people. that means a military second to none. i do not believe in cutting the military. i believe many maintaining the strength of america's military. second, in that line that says we are endowed by our creator with our rights, i think we should maintain our commitment to religious freedom and tolerance in this country. we're endowed by our creator to pursue happiness as we choose. i interpret that as, one, making sure those people who are less fortunate and can't care for themselves are cared for by one another. we're all children of the same god. and we care for those who have
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difficulties. those that are elderly and have problems and challenges, those that are disabled, we care for them. we look for discovery and innovation and desire out of the american heart to provide the pursuit of happiness for our citizens. but we also believe in maintaining for individuals the right to pursue their dreams and not to have the government substitute its tefl felf for ths of free individuals. we're seeing a trickle down government approach which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams and it's not working. the proof of that is 23 million people out of work. one out of six people in poverty. the proof of that is we've going to 32 million on food stamz to 47 million on food stamps. 50% of college graduates this year can't find work. we know that the path we're taking is not working. it's time for a new path. >> all right. let's go through some specifics in terms of how each of you
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views the role of government. education? does the federal government have a responsibility to improve the quality of public education in america? >> well, the primary responsibility for education is, of course, at the state and local level. but the federal government can play a very important role. i agree with secretary arnie duncan and the ideas he put forward on race to the top. some of them i agree with and congratulate him for pursuing. that the federal government can get local and state schools to do a better job. my own view, by the way, is i've added to that, i happen to believe i want the kids that are getting federal dlaz from idea or title one, thighs are disabled kids or poor kids or lower income kids, rather, i want them to be able to go to the school of their choice. so all federal funds, instead of going to the state or to the school district, i'd have go, if you will, follow the child and let the parent and the child decide where to send their student. >> how do you see the federal
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government's responsibility to improve the quality of public education in this country? >> as i indicated, it has a significant role to play. to our race to the top program, we worked with republican and democratic governors to initiate major reforms and they're having an impact right now. >> do you think you have a difference with your views and those of governor romney about education? >> this is where budgets matter because budgets reflect choices. so when governor romney indicates that he wants to cut taxes and potentially benefit folks like me and him and to pay for it, we're having to initiate significant cuts in federal support for education. that makes a difference. his running mate, congressman ryan, put forward a budget that reflects many of the principles that governor romney talked about. it wasn't very detailed. this seems to be a trend.
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but what it did do is if you extrapolate how much money we're talking about, you'd look at cutting the education budget by up to 20%. when it comes to community colleges, we're seeing great work done out there all officer the country because we have the opportunity to train people for jobs that exist right now. one of the things i suspect governor romney and i agree on is getting businesses to work with community colleges so they're setting up their training programs. >> do you agree, governor? >> let me finish my point. >> go ahead. >> i suspect -- >> go ahead. >> they're partnering so they're designing training programs and people who are going through them know there is a job waiting for them if they complete it. that makes a big difference. but that requires federal support. let me just say one final example. when it comes to making college affordable, whether it's two year or four year, one of the things i did as president was we were sending $60 billion to
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banks and lenders as middle men for the student loan program, even though the loans were guaranteed. there was no risk to the banks or lenders, but they were taking billions out of the system. we said why not cut out the middleman? and as a consequence, what we've been able to do is provide millions more students assistance, lower or keep low interest rates on student loans and this is an example of where our priorities make a difference. governor romney, i genuinely believe cares about education. but when he tells a student that, you know, you should borrow money from your parents to go to college that, indicates the degree to which, you know, there may not be as much of a focus on the fact that folks like myself, folks like michelle, kids probably who attend university of denver just don't have that option and for us to be able to make sure that they've got that opportunity and they can walk through that door.
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that is vitally important not just to those kids. it's how we're going to grow this economy over the long term. >> we're running out of time. >> mr. president, you're entitled to your own airplane and house but not facts. i don't have plans to cut education funding. i'm continuing to grow grants. you make a very good point which is that the place you put your money makes it pretty clear indication of where your heart s you put $90 billion into green jobs. and, look, i'm all in favor of green energy. $90 billion, that would have hired two million teachers. $09 billion. and these businesses, many of them have gone out of business. i think half of them -- the ones that have been invested have gone in business. a number of them are owned by people contributors to your campaigns. look, the right course for
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america's government, we're talking about the role of government, is not to become the economic player, picking winners and losers, telling people what kind of health treatment they can receive, taking over the health care system that has existed in this country for a long, long time and produced the best health records in the world. the right answer for government is how to make the private sector being more efficient? how do we get schools to be more competitive? let's grade them. i propose we grade our schools so parents know which schools are succeeding and failing. so they can take their child to a school that is more successful. i don't want to cut our commitment to education. i want to make it more effective and efficient. by the way, i've had that experience. i don't just talk about it. i've been there. massachusetts schools are ranked number one in the nation. this is not because i didn't have commitment to education. it's because i care about education for all of our kids. >> all right. >> excuse me. one second. we have three minutes left.
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i'm not going to grade the two of you and say your answers have been too long or i've done a poor job. >> you've done a great job. >> but the fact is the role of government and governing, we've lost a pod, in other words. so we only have three minutes left in the debate before we go to your closing statements. and so i want to ask finally here and, remember, we have three minutes total time here. the question is this -- many of the legislative functions of the federal government right now are in a state of paralysis as a result of partisan gridlock. if elected, in your case, if re-elected in your case, what you would do about that? governor? >> jim, i had the great experience, it seemed like at the time, of being elected in a state where my legislature was 80% democrat. and that meant i figured out from day one i had to get along and work across the aisle to get
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anything done. we drove our schools to be number one in the nation. we cut taxes 19 times. >> what would you do as president? >> as president, i'll sit down on day one -- actually, the day after i get elected, i'll sit down with democratic leaders and republicans leaders and continue as we in my state. we met every monday for a couple hours. talked about the issues and challenges in our state in that case. we have to work on a collaborative basis. not because we're going to compromise our principle, but because there's common ground. and the challenges america faces right now. look, the reason i'm in this race is there are people that are really hurting to day in this country. and we face this deficit could crush the future generations. what's happening in the middle east? there are developments around the world that are of real concern. and republicans and democrats both love america. but we need to have leadership -- leadership in washington that will actually bring people together and get the job done and could not care less if it's a republican or a democrat. i've done it before. i'll do it again.
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>> mr. president? >> first of all, i think governor romney is going to have a first day. because he's also going to repeal obama care which will not be very popular with democrats as you're sitting down with them. but, look, my philosophy has been i will take ideas from anybody, democrat or republican as long as they're advancing the cause of making middle class families stronger and giving ladders of opportunity to the middle class. that's how we cut taxes from middle class families and small businesses. that's how we cut a trillion dollars of spenting that wasn't advancing that cause. that's how we signed three trade deals into law that are helping us to double our exports and sell more american products around the world. that's how we repeal don't ask, don't tell. that's how we ended the war in iraq and that's how we're going to wind down the war in afghanistan. that's how we went after al qaeda and bin laden. so we've seen progress even under republican control of the house of representatives.
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but ultimately part of being principled, part of being a leader is being able to describe exactly what it is you intend to do, not just saying i'll sit down. but you have to have a plan. number two, what's important is occasionally you got to say no to folks both in your own party and in the other party. and, yes, have we had some fights between mane the republicans when they fought back against us reigning in the excesses of wall street? absolutely. because that was a fight that needed to be had. when we were fighting good whether or not we were going to make sure that americans had more security with their health insurance and they said no, yes, that was a fight we needed to have. so part of leadership and governing is both saying what it is that you are for but also being willing would say no to things. i have to tell you, governor romney, when it comes to his own party during the course of this campaign has not displayed that willingness to say no to some of the more extreme parts of his
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parties. >> that brings us to closing statements. there was a coin toss. governor romney, you wouldn'tle. you have a closing two minutes. >> jim, i want to thank you. i want to thank governor romney. i think this was a terrific debate. i want to thank the university of denver. you know, four years ago we were going through a major crisis. and, yet, my faith and confidence in the american future is undiminished. the reason is because of its people. because the woman i met in north carolina who decided at 55 to go back to school because she wanted to inspire her daughter and has a job from the new training she's gotten, because the company in minnesota that was willing to give up salaries and perks for their executives to make sure that they didn't lay off workers during a recession. the autoworkers that you meet in toledo or detroit, take such
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pride in building the best cars in the world not just because of paycheck but because it gives them that sense of pride, that they're helping to build america. so the question is now how do we build on the strengths? everything that i've tried to do and everything i'm proposing for the next four years in terms of improferri improving our energy system or our education systems or focusing on small businesses and companies creating jobs in the united states or closing our deficit in a responsible, balanced way that allows us to invest in our future, all those things are designed to make sure that the american people, their genius, their grit, their determination is channelled and they have an opportunity to succeed. and everybody's getting a fair shot. everybody is getting a fair share. everybody's doing their fair share and playing by the same rules. you know, four years ago i said
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i'm not a perfect man and i wouldn't be a perfect president. and that's probably a promise that governor romney thinks i've kept. but i also promised that i'd fight every single day on behalf of the american people and middle class and all those who are striving to get to the middle class, i've kept that promise. if you'll vote for me, then i promise i'll fight just as hard in the second term. >> governor romney, your two minutes. >> thank you, jim and mr. president. thank you for tuning in this evening. this is a important election. i'm concerned about america. i'm concerned about the direction america has been taking over the last four years. i know this is bigger than election about the two of us as individuals. it's bigger than our respective parties. it's an election about the course of america. what kind of america do you want to have for yourself and for your children? and there really two very different path that's we began speaking about this evening and over the course of this month we're going to have two more presidential debates and a
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vice-presidential debate. we'll talk about the two paths. but they lead in very different directions. it's not just looking to our words that you have to take in evidence and where they go. can you look at the record. there's no question in my mind that if the president were to be re-elected you'll continue to see a middle class squeeze w incomes going down and prices going up. i'll get incomes up again. you'll see chronic unemployment. we've had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8%. if i'm president, i will create -- help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes. the president's re-elected, obama care will be fully installed. in my view, that's going to mean a whole different way of life for people who counted on the insurance plan they had in the past. many will use it. you'll see health premiums go up by $2,500 per family. if i'm lekted, we won't have obama care. we'll put in principles that i put in place in my state and we'll craft programs to get people insured and focus of getting the cost of health care down. if the president were to be
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re-elected, you'll see a $716 billion cut to medicare. you'll have four million people who will lose medicare advantage. you'll have hospitals and providers that will no longer accept medicare patients. i'll restore that $716 billion to medicare. finally, military. the president's re-elected you'll see dramatic cuts to our military. the secretary of defense said these would be devastating. i will not cut our commitment to our military. i will keep america strong and get america's middle class working again. thank you, jim. >> thank you, governor. thank you, mr. president. the next debate will be the vice-presidential event on thursday, october 11th at center college in danville, kentucky. for now from the university of denver, i'm jim lehrer. thank you and good night.
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>> if you stayed up late looking for fireworks you got it over range of top frikz health care to taxes to the role of government, green energy, even big bird get something play tonight. in a sense, maria, that i think in the first half hour the governor came to play. he was prepared and managed to do what he had to do which is play more offense than defense to them. >> he absolutely did, carl. i think in many cases to night the president was actually on the defensive. governor romney was very specific on his plan to create jobs. very specific on tax reform. the size of government. cutting the deficit. romney ended with the divisiveness, saying he would on day one be able to be collaborative, bring the two sides together. and, of course, in his closing statements, was very specific in term of where he is going to allocate capital and where he would not. and he mentioned the military,
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insuring that keeping america safe is one of the priorities. and that means not cutting military spending. >> i want to get thoughts on the debate from our john harwood who is on the ground in denver. what is your first reaction? >> my first reaction is that it was a strong debate for mitt romney. it's always hard for me to judge what millions of americans sitting in their living rooms are going to conclude about the debate. neither candidate had a huge stumble. i thought mitt romney had an especially strong moment when he confronted the president on cutting the deficit and challenged him directly. the bottom line i take from talking to people who work in politics and campaigns is the republicans are an awful lot happy we are mitt romney's performance than the democrats are with than president obama. he certainly helped himself. the question is how much? and for the democrats, well, obama may have been rusty in the debate. he wasn't hurt too badly. we'll see how it plays out.
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but i think this was a strong night for mitt romney. we have three more debates to go. one with the vice-presidential candidates. two at the top of the ticket. and if you can keep this going, he may do himself some good. >> carl, you've been watching in trade. we saw an move in up in trade, the betting on obama versus romney. it actually -- >> about 9% down on the president. >> and up to 26% on governor romney. actually, larry kudlow with us as well. >> maria? >> yes, john? >> i want to say, i think you were right about the president being on the defensive. one of the things that came out of the two conventions is that the democrats, bill clinton helped president obama in this, shifted this from a referendum election on president obama's performance to a choice election. i think this -- the effect was to pull it back to a referendum election and put president obama on the defensive. he's the one with the record. and the american public is not
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in a great mood right now. >> he has to defend that record. that's what he tried to do tonight. governor romney was much more specific in term of his plans going forward. in terms of job creation, tax reform, even in terms of getting back to economic growth. larry kudlow with us as well. larry, what's your take? >> i thought that this was a tremendous victory for romney. this is a different, different romney than the one at the convention. he was specific and crisp and precise and energetic. one of the things that struck sme, this important debate this is the first one. some people say the first one is the most important debate, is the lethargic performance by president obama who is not in command. there are a couple small things. romney had to teach obama, for example, on energy the business about you put in $90 billion for green energy. the tax deduction you're worried about for oil and gas is less than $3 billion. i'm happy to get rid of that in term of overall corporate tax reform. he also has to correct the
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president on a number of spending areas and a number of deficit areas and a number of tax areas. it's almost as though the president was simply not prepared for this speech. romney went toe to toe, head-to-he head-to-head, presidential to presidential. >> you know, he also mentioned some of the missteps, mentioned solyndra, mentioned tesla. a friend of mine said you're supposed to pick winners and losers, you keep picking losers. making a jab there. >> another thing that struck me several time during this conversation is that romney talked about bipartisanship several times as governor of massachusetts. i was impressed with that. i think everybody in this country knows in order to make an important deal on taxes and spending, to keep us out of bankruptcy and grow the economy, there's going to have to be bipartisanship. and repeatedly romney said i am willing to work with the other side. i learned that in massachusetts and will do the same in washington. i was very impressed with that.
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i thought that president obama hearing that was almost petulant. >> in addition, john, i'd love to know what you think about this. the president's energy and body language aside, it seemed like romney arrived having pivoted somewhat on taxes and on his time regarding health care in massachusetts. forced the president to call an audible of sorts at the podium. he was left having to shift from the debate prep. did you see that? >> not exactly. you raise the issue of taxes. i want to ask larry's opinion on this as well. one of the things i heard from republicans is this is going to energize the party, some of the gloom that's been surrounding the party the last few weeks as the polls have gotten bad is going to be lifted. but i was thinking the opposite about larry. what you had from mitt romney was continuously downplaying the size of his tax cut. it was not a shift in his
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position. he was simply reiterating he's going to pay for the tax cut. but it sounded like over and over and over i am not in favor of $5 trillion tax cut. i thought you might be squirming in your chair at. that. >> that $5 trillion number in my mind is a phoney number. that is a kblicomplicated proce. there's a lot of baseline. the actual tax cut that he's talking about has been estimated by harvard and princeton at $850 billion to $950 billion. the deductions would take care of that. but hears what i heard. this was so important. romney said this towards the end. regarding tax reform, he said, my principles is to lower the rates and broaden the base to grow the economy. and then he said, i am willing to work with people the way reagan worked with tip o'neill and rostenkowski. this is another one of the bipartisan moments. romney basically said there are
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several ways we can do this. >> underlining -- >> obama never said -- >> underlining the divisiveness that has taken place. >> yes. he himself was breathing a breath of fresh air. there are a number of ways we can do this. that is music to my ears. >> except, larry, except that is not going to be realized. he cannot get bipartisan cooperation if he continues to resist raising revenue as part of a -- >> we don't know that to be true. leadership brings people together. leadership brings people together. >> i was there in 1983. >> no. there is no deal if there is not a tax increase. >> i was there in 1986. i saw a deal that no one believed possible. let me make one point. there's a difference between tax revenues and tax rates. and what romney is saying is i want to bring down the tax rates and i'm willing to bolster the tax revenues by getting rid of the deductions and buying
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increasing economic growth. and that's a crucial distinction. you can work people. >> you were wanting to weigh in as well. >> they have. here's what you think. 38%, i believe, thought president obama won. 52% felt the governor won. 10% said neither side won. >> thank you for weighing in. we want to get more reaction to tonight's debate. we have a democratic strategist with us, former white house aide in the clinton administration. your thoughts, keith? >> i thought this was a interesting debate. i think jim lehrer was really the loser in the debate. he had no control over the debate. i think it made it kind of boring in some respects and benefits president obama. but on style, it's clear that romney won this debate. he seemed to be more aggressive, just what he needed to do. and i think obama actually did well on substance but i think he was actually employing something sort of a defense. he wasn't trying to gain. he was just trying to not harm
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himself. i don't know if that is a good thing or bad thing. romney needed to do something. he did what he needed to do. i don't know if that is enough to win the election. >> there is a lot of debate online about why the president never invoked the 47% video. some speculate maybe he is trying to keep aces in his pocket. did that surprise you? >> well, what surprised me is there is very little talk about the kind of things he seemed to obsess about. the briefous gaffes, videotape. i thought it was a forward looking day for romney who took a lot of time outlining the plan. you have been talking about this. what is really going on with the president tonight? he seemed a little lethargic and slow. i think the word is malaise. this is a president who seems stuck. the economy seems stuck. at the end remember what the president said, listen, you know i've tried hard. if you elect me for another four years, i'll keep trying hard.
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i'm not sure that's what americans want to hear b they want to hear about results. >> they want solutions. i don't know that we actually found. before we went to the debate, you said we do not know president obama's plan to get jobs created again. after tonight's debate, do you know that plan? >> nothing. >> we learned -- >> jim, you don't know that plan either. we definitely know romney's plan. >> i disagree. >> he repeated the same five point nonsense before. there are no specifics. >> wait a second, number one, energy independence. >> how does that create jobs in the short term? >> drilling. >> that doesn't create jobs in a short term. >> it's creating jobs right now. >> energy dependence creates jobs. number two, open more trade. crack down on china. make sure people have skills to succeed. number five, champion small business. these are specifics. >> those are goals about what you want to achieve. he said the same five points at
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his convention speech when everybody here criticized him and said that wasn't specific. now he says that and that's specific. >> what goals did the president give us? >> i'm not saying the president gave you a specific plan. mitt romney is running as the challenger. >> romney was very specific. >> he's the challenger. he is running behind. >> can i just say that regarding tax reform, he was very specific. quoting numbers and rebutting obama's numbers. he was very specific. regarding energy reform, he was very specific. regarding health care reform, he was very specific particularly impressive not just on the $715 billion number coming out of medicare but how it would impact the providers and how that would impact the patients. he drew connecting dots that mr. obama wasn't in shape to do it tonight. i'm sure obama knows. this he couldn't get it out tonight for some reason. and also, on the deficit side,
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and on economic statistics in general, here's romney firing out statistics. what you saw was a guy who looked calm, who looked presidential and who was knowledgeable and highly informed. >> and practiced. >> i don't think people were expecting romney to be as good as he was tonight. >> he was strong. >> john harwood? >> i just wanted to say i think romney was fluent. his argumentation was good. the body language was good. he looked happier than president obama on the stage. obama spent a lot of time on the defensive. however, i don't think we've got any new specifics from either candidate tonight. mitt romney talked about the goals that he has articulated and he articulated in the convention speech. president obama did the same thing. i don't think anyone put new policy on the table tonight. >> one thing i'll say though on this point, we covered the convention in tampa bay. i was very unhappy with romney
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after that whole 45 minute speech he gave there were 200 words on the economy. here's the deal. i now believe, i now believe that romney is absolutely committed to pro growth tax reform. so lower the rates and broaden the base, create incentives and cover revenues. >> he said it many times. >> i also now believe he is going to roll up his sleeves and negotiate a deal. that's how important he thinks it is. i didn't know this before. and i hadn't heard it at the convention. >> let's talk about where the truth telling was and where it wasn't. so were the candidates telling the truth tonight all the time? >> i've seen the correspondent checking all the facts for us. >> they were busy tonight. the first segment been talking about onch you've been talking about on taxes, in a lot of ways revolved around semantics. tough to fact check. does a tax cut cost money if it is paid for? president obama called governor romney's tam plan a $5 trillion tax cut. the governor begs to differ.
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let's listen again to what they said. >> i'm not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. what i've saidcy won't put in a tax cut that adds to the deficit. >> it's not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. >> all right. let's dive into that. the $5 trillion figure, they're talking about program cuts over ten years. it would require $4.9 trillion in program cuts again over ten years to pay for it. romney says he would pay for it by closing leap holes and that would disproportionately affect middle class families in terms of deductions which again is where the president gets this. >> a middle class family with children would pay $2,500 more.
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>> we've been talking about this again and again for week. romney said he has his own studies and about half a dozen studies. the chief one that the campaign is pointing to is the conservative american enterprise institute that challenges the tpc assumptions on the deductions that would have to be cut and says economic growth from tax cuts would be what closes the gap. the $5 trillion figure is dubious and just the same romney denied did not say specifically how he will pay for his proposed across-the-board tax cut, just so that he would work across the aisle. let's talk about health care. mitt romney hit obama care on a number of fronts including the independent payment advisory board. >> it puts in place an unelected board that's going to tell people ultimately what kind of treatments they can v i don't like that idea. >> well, neither does anybody else because the law specifically bars the board from nationaling care, raising premiums or restricting
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benefits. finally, green jobs. here is what mitt romney said. >> you put $90 billion into green jobs. and, look, i'm all in favor of green energy. $90 billion. that would have hired two million teachers. >> good zinger. did he spend $90 billion on green jobs? sort of. in the white house, in the recovery act, the stimulus, t biggest chunk is $29 million. paul ryan tried to get for projects in his district. another $21 billion for renewable energy. $18 billion for high speed rail. all part of the obama stimulus program. finally, energy independence that romney is talking about, as we said last month, that is something that the very studies that romney points, to the very analyst reports, they say we're already on the way to north american energy independence. so he's kind of trying to claim credit for something that's
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already there. those are your early fact checks. >> thank you so much. for his take on how the candidates faired, we want to bring in roger alt marne, also the founder and chairman of evercorps partners and served in president clinton's treasury department as well. roger, good to have you back. good evening. >> hi. >> i can't count the number of tweets that just talk about the lack of energy from the president. you are disappointed in him tonight? >> no. i just focus on what each candidate said. and it probably won't spurp you but i don't agree with the thrust of what you were talking about in terms of how specific mr. romney was. he wasn't specific at all on his plan to cut the deficit, exactly what did he say? i think the answer is nothing. and his whole approach to tonight which was to effectively disown a series of key proposals he'd been making for 18 straight
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months, my $5 trillion tax cut, that's not in my plan. oh, yes it is. no, that's not my plan. yes, it is. my plan to get rid of every aspect of dodd/frank which he's been saying repeatedly month after month is really not my plan. yes, it is. it was rather an astonishing jiu-jitsu on his part in terms of trying to get away from what has been the hallmarks of his whole campaign. and then in terms of, you know, maria your point about his plans were so specific, they're not specific. they're slogans. we're going to have energy indispense. really? how? we're going continue to crease trade. how? what's your plan? those are not plans, those are slogans. >> what plan did you get from the president? >> president obama, we all know, has been in office for nearly four years. let's take education.
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race to the top. focusing $3 billion on the worst performing schools. >> in terms of job creation, roger and cutting the deficit which i think are of the two important issues that voters care about right now, where do you see the specifics from the president's plan on job creation and on cutting the deficit? >> very simple. on jobs, let's just look at the record. there have been five million private sector jobs created over the past 30 months. and we have been coming steadily up from the edge of catastrophe when president obama took office in the country was right on the verge of another great depression. but 30 consecutive months of private sector job creation is right there to see. he has been doing it. and governor romney in my view didn't supply a single specific on how he's going to do it. we're going to create 12 million jobs over the next 12 years. both republicans and democratic
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and independent economists project the american economy is going to create at least that number of jobs on its own. that's not a plan. >> roger, appreciate your time. sorry it's so limited tonight. thanks for staying up late. >> thank you. >> we appreciate it. let's get to the spin room with now on how the candidates performed, jim harwood and a senior adviser to the campaign, john? >> thanks, maria. i just want to ask you about what roger altman just said. he said that governor romney walked away from the tax cut. did he? >> not at all. i think he did an excellent job tonight. both of critiquing the position that we're now in under the president and presenting a choice in terms of his own plan. i agree with a lot of what was said in the panel. i think he was dynamic and in command. i think this may have changed the dynamics of the race. what he said tonight, is look, he wants to do in one package what ronald reagan did in two. he wants to cut spending and
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then also reform deductions and credits while protecting the middle class. and reagan did that over a period of four or five years. he wants to do it all right away. i agree with what everybody said. he did a great job explaining how he worked with bipartisanship in massachusetts. >> let me jump in here. how far does this take romney in your view? how important was this tonight? terms of actually moving the needle for the governor? >> well, this was the first time the american people have had an opportunity to be directly exposed to mitt romney and his views and his command of the issues and his heart and his feelings about american government and it was a direct exposure. i think he did a great job. i think it's at least beginning to change the dynamics of the race. we're going to have another opportunity in the future. i think tonight he did a great job of changing the dynamics. >> of course, with 34 days to
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go, doesn't that a little bit late? it's been said that debates are supposed to be the summation of an argument, not the introduction of one. >> he's been campaigning, of course. but nobody's had the opportunity to see hip as those of us that know him and served with him in massachusetts have seen him. a person who cares, a person who has an outstanding plan to create jobs and move the economy, a person who knows how to work across the aisle, a person who's aggressive but gracious, i mean i just thought he was in command of the platform tonight. i agree with what was said. i thought the president was on the defensive. the president was gracious, too. but i thought romney did a great job of winning the debate. >> and what can you he do to keep this going? >> maria, twint ask him about the bipartisan issue. we heard that from governor bush in texas, uniter, not a divider. we heard it from president obama. not so easy to do it in
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washington. >> you're right, it's more difficult. but did he do it in massachusetts with a legislature that was overwhelmingly opposed to him. so there's good reason he can believe. >> thank you so much. back to you. >> all right. thank you very much, john harwood for your hard work and long day. that's our coverage from tonight's debate in denver. >> thanks so much for joining us. tune in for "worldwide exchange" at 4:00 a.m. [ male announcer ] the 2013 smart comes with 8 airbags, a crash management system and the world's only tridion safety cell which can withstand over three and a half tons. small in size. big on safety.
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